History of ICOM

The International college of Oriental Medicne was founded by Dr. J. D. van Buren in 1972 as a direct result of many students wishing to study Acupuncture from an acknowledged master of this fascinating subject. Originally, the College started in Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire but, as it expanded, a new building was found in East Grinstead, Sussex, in 1977.

Our heritage

Dr. van Buren, already an osteopath, naturopath and homeopath, began his studies of acupuncture in 1952, travelling to many different countries in the world in order to gain as much knowledge as possible in this field. In 1969, he was awarded a Doctorate of Acupuncture in Taiwan as acknowledgement of his mastery of the subject.

In 1972, he founded the International College of Oriental Medicine with branches in England and Holland. Thanks to his pioneering work at that time, other colleges were also founded in Norway and Australia, although these are all now operating independently. For many years he travelled to different colleges to lecture, set and maintain teaching and clinical standards in acupuncture.

Dr. van Buren’s unique contribution to Oriental Medicine is that he has made the application of the Stems and Branches Acupuncture Theory a practical reality. Knowledge of the Stems and Branches theory gives the student of Oriental Medicine an insight into the origin of disease at the deepest level. The International College of Oriental Medicine is the only institution in the world where this material is being constantly researched, developed and taught at undergraduate level on the BSc Hons Acupuncture Degree Course at the present time. Dr van Buren has now passed away.

Dr. van Buren in the late 80s